It is now time for my take on Monsters University, which I went to see with my two older kids. Incredible to think I saw Monsters Inc. when my oldest was just two years old… To tell you the truth, the latter is not my favorite Pixar film; not even close. But this movie surprised me very pleasantly. I’ll try to make this as spoiler free as possible, but I’d recommend you see the movie first and then read this if you want to be utterly unspoiled.
As it is no surprise for you, MU is about how Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan came to know each other and become friends.
Only it is so, so much more than that.
The movie starts with Mike as a child who is pretty much friendless. He takes a field trip with his class to visit Monsters Incorporated, and the trip marks him for life. He decides he has to go study at MU, since a scarer who becomes his hero during his short trip –and even gave him his MU cap– went there to study. He wants to be a scarer. So he becomes a nerd in every way possible; the Hermione Granger of monsters, until he reaches his dream: he is accepted at Monsters University. He goes, and then he begins the journey of a lifetime.
Of course I’m not going to tell you everything that happens, right? You want to see the movie. I can tell you I was surprised by two things principally: Randall –the terrible guy from MI– starts off being a great guy, and Sully is unbearable. Wow; what a shock!! Of course I was also surprised by how much better everything looked. Monsters Inc. holds up very well, but this movie looks SO much better. Incredible. And in the best Pixar’s style, EVERY single detail is paid attention to. This monsters do look younger, and they all act like teens are supposed to act.
I’d love to give you my take on the voice performances (which I bet are awesome), but I can’t, since the movie is only available in Spanish where I live. Pitiful. I hate when movie theaters don’t even give you the choice to watch in the original language; that is the only way you can really “feel” the movie. However, the voices were done by excellent actors (Víctor Trujillo as Sully and Andrés Bustamante as Mike), so I trust them. Still, I can’t wait to see it in English.
Now, what REALLY surprised me about this movie is how they are able to make you feel on top of the world one moment, and then crush your heart the next… or when you think it’s over and nothing else can happen, something completely unexpected happens and it is even bigger than before.
Let’s talk “moral of the story for a second”. I’m used to movies having a moral; especially children’s movies. And even more especially, Pixar’s movies. However, I think it is the first time I find so many lessons… lessons that can be appreciated by both children and adults. Among these lessons I can mention a few: never underestimate anyone; being talented is as important as working for what you want (actually, talent means nothing if you don’t get to work); sometimes “losers” can become winners, and “cool guys” can become losers; team work is essential if you are to achieve anything in a group that is supposed to work together; working for what you want is the only way to get it; in a group where different personalities are involved, everybody’s traits are necessary; nobody is necessarily more important that anybody else; your name doesn’t give you immediate success. And what I think is the most important: your actions have consequences. This movie is worth of analysis. It would be great for parents to see it with their kids and then discuss it, because this movie has VALUABLE life lessons.
As you can imagine, I liked this movie much better than the first one. I can’t recommend it enough. And the people who saw it with us agreed, I guess… it’s not everyday that people actually clap at the end of a movie.
Well, this is it! I promise I’ll be back soon… See you!!